Loki Recap From Darren’s Movie Reviews – Episode 2: The Variant

Each week, Darren from @darrenmoviereviews will be recapping the most recent episode(s) of Loki and the show’s overall connection to the larger Marvel Cinematic Universe.

Loki, a volcano, a salad, and time travel. What could possibly go wrong? Just like Loki, the second episode of the latest Marvel series is full of chaos and mischief that is sure to get fans going wild for what is happening! 

Loki’s premiere was great, and it continues in the second episode. We get more of Hiddletson and Wilson’s dynamic pairing for the majority of the episode, and a lot of world building happening. We learn more about the TVA, how the Sacred Timeline works, all before that wild last five minutes that drastically changes the course of the series that will get fans talking! However, I was upset to not learn more about Gugu Mbatha-Raw’s Ravonna Renslayer in this episode. While she had more screen time than the first episode, we still know very little about her character and I hope the role goes somewhere. But I’m sure with a big actress like Gugu in the role, it will develop into something.

And into spoiler territory we go. If you have not seen this week’s episode of Loki, stop reading now. If you have, keep on reading to find out what we learnt in this week’s episode…

Wisconsin, 1985. The episode opens up on a TVA team investigating a disturbance at a Renaissance Fair. The evil Loki Variant ( the “Variant “) has travelled to this point in time. Inside a tent, the Variant possesses one of the TVA agents and kills the remainder of the team, before opening up a time door, stealing the reset charge and taking the TVA agent he possessed hostage. 

Back at the TVA, Loki has been tasked with watching the training videos and is being quizzed by Miss Minute as to what he has learnt by watching them. Needless to say, Loki is not impressed. Luckily, Mobius comes to get him as the TVA has discovered the Variant’s attack in 1985 and he needs Loki’s help. Before heading off to 1985, Loki explains the difference between his powers that the TVA failed to note and warns them that no two Loki’s are alike. While some of the agents are concerned Loki will betray them, Mobius tells Loki he does not have this concern as betraying them won’t help Loki get a meeting with the Time-Keepers. Outfitted with his new TVA jacket that clearly identifies him as a “VARIANT”, the team heads off to 1985. 

At the Renaissance Fair, Loki slips his hand that he has not watched all of the training videos by asking why they don’t travel back to before the Variant makes their attack. Mobius and the TVA Agents note that this is the first time that the Variant has taken a hostage, as C-20 is missing and not among the dead. Loki gets his silver tongue going, telling Mobius that the Variant has set a trap knowing that they will begin to look for C-20, and that if they leave the tent they will all die. But,luckily for the TVA,, they have Loki so they won’t fall into the trap. Loki can in fact help the TVA and deliver the Variant to them…provided he is not disintegrated and gets his audience with the Time Keepers. But Mobius is not buying Loki’s tale, and orders that the timeline be reset before returning to the TVA. 

Back at the TVA, Mobius meets with Renslayer. Renslayer does not trust Loki and thinks Mobius messed up his last assignment due to Loki’s involvement. Mobius apologizes, but tells Renslayer that understanding Loki will help them get closer to the Variant. Renslayer, clearly not a fan of Loki as she refers to him as an “evil, lying scourge”, does not think Loki can change unless the Time-Keepers make it so, despite Mobius believing Loki can. According to Renslayer, the Time-Keepers are more involved in Mobius’s case than most and want the Variant caught. Mobius promises the Variant will be caught, and if not, he will delete Loki himself. 

After Mobius’s meeting with Renslayer, Loki gets homework! He is tasked with reviewing all the case files involving the Variant to find something the TVA may have overlooked. However, this only entertains Loki for so long, and he goes trying to dig up information on the TVA. After being denied any information on the beginning of the TVA, the beginning and end of time, Loki is given the only file he is allowed access to: his own. While reviewing the file and learning about the future he glimpsed in the premiere, he finds a report on the destruction of Asgard that took place during Thor: Ragnarok. While being saddened by what he read, Loki discovers something!

Loki quickly tells Mobius what he has discovered: apocalyptic events such as Ragnarok have no variant energy, which would allow the Variant to hide and cause havoc without being detected, as the apocalyptic event would erase any time variant events. Of course being Loki, Loki tells Mobius this by ruining Mobius’s salad with salt, pepper and liquids to show the destruction the Variant is causing at these apocalyptic events. Loki says they have to test it, but Mobius is cautious to take Loki to an apocalyptic event, fearing that Loki may double cross him and stab him in the back (both figuratively and literally). However, Loki promises to behave himself, because stabbing people in the back is getting old, so off to Pompeii, Italy they go.

Pompei, Italy 79 A.D. We all know what’s about to happen, with the volcano looming in the background. While Mobius says they should only cause small variations to not do any catastrophic damage, Loki begins talking to the locals in Italian, telling them that he is from the future and that they are all about to die. The locals all take Loki for a nutter, but before any damage can be done to the Sacred Timeline, the volcano erupts and wipes out Pompeii. While Loki causes the variations to the Sacred Timeline, Mobius is monitoring the timeline and confirms Loki’s theory: there is no variation energy detected.

Upon returning to the TVA, Loki and Mobius discuss Loki’s views of the TVA. While Loki thinks it’s all nonsense and how this all exists, Mobius compares it to Loki’s history. But during the conversation, Loki mentions children, which gives Mobius an idea. He then takes Loki to the evidence lockup to find the Kablooie candy from the premiere episode. Mobius believes that if Loki’s theory is correct, locating an apocalyptic event in the Sacred Timeline during which Kablooie candy was sold on Earth will help them locate the Variant. After a fun competition between the two to find the location on the Sacred Timeline, they discover the event: a storm occurring in Alabama in 2050. Reynor hesitantly approves the mission to 2050, but strongly warns Mobius not to trust Loki as she fears Loki has discovered a major gap in TVA security, and that she cannot protect Mobius if the mission goes wrong. 

2050. Alabama, United States of America. Loki and Mobius have tracked the sale of Kablooie to a Roxxcart store (which Roxxcart had made multiple appearances in the MCU before), which has been turned into a shelter given the storm. The TVA team decides to split up to cover as much ground as possible to locate the Variant, but Hunter B-15 does not want Mobius going off with Loki. We then cut to the Variant, who is watching Loki and the TVA using the security camera while setting charges around the store with a timer for 20 min…

While searching the store, Loki and Hunter B-15 discover the Variant. The Variant takes control of Hunter B-15. There is a brief exchange between Loki and the Variant, during which the Variant expresses they think that Loki is being a fool…

We then cut to Mobius in another part of the store. While searching a room full of people seeking shelter from a store, one of the TVA agents discovers C-20, who was kidnapped at the beginning of the episode. She is repeatedly saying “it’s real”…

Back to Loki and the Variant. The Variant laughs at Loki because they cannot believe that Loki believes he is working for himself and not the TVA. The Variant then switches bodies to a Roxxcort employee. Loki tries to provoke the Variant by saying that they won’t meet him face to face. And then Loki makes his offer to the Variant: a position as Loki’s lieutenant as Loki overthrows the TVA. The Variant is playing games though, and says to call him Randy, the name of the employee that they are controlling. Loki is clearly annoyed, and points out to the Variant that he tried to help delay at the Renaissance Fair, but the Variant still says no to Loki’s offer. We then cut to someone else setting charges around the store…

Mobius has finally gotten C-20 to speak, and she confesses that she gave up the Time-Keepers’ location to the Variant. At that moment, their comms start going off. It’s Hunter B-15, and she has woken up to find that Loki is gone. Mobius and the rest of the TVA agents eventually find her, and learn that Loki is missing…

Loki asks the Variant what they want, but the Variant says it is too late. The Variant switches bodies yet again, thanks Loki for helping stall again, and attacks Loki. A small fight occurs, but Loki is easily beaten by the Variant. The Variant then sets off another charge, with a 1 minute timer. Loki, still on the floor, demands information from the Variant as to what their plan is. But the Variant merely laughs and tells Loki to brace himself for what is about to happen. The Variant then leaves their host, and removes their hood. It’s a blonde-haired woman wearing a similar crown to Loki’s. It’s Lady Loki. She tells Loki it’s not about him, as hundreds of charges begin falling through time doors and are set off. 

We then cut to the TVA, where multiple variant activities are being reported on the Sacred Timeline due to Lady Loki’s plan. The Sacred Timeline is being bombed. The TVA is now in full deployment mode…

As the TVA realizes what is happening, Lady Loki opens another time door to escape, and Loki follows her through it, as Mobius runs towards Loki screaming at him to stop.

So, we had two major reveals in this week’s episode. The Sacred Timeline is in chaos, and it looks like the multiverse is ready to make it’s MCU debut. But more importantly, the identity of the Variant was revealed: it’s Lady Loki. Many fans had been guessingthat Lady Loki was going to appear, which was only fueled by the mysterious blonde-haired woman seen in the trailer. So I was wrong about it being Black Widow, but this is a great development. Lady Loki is a notable version of Loki from the comics, and the fact it seems like we have two Loki’s teaming up now, the rest of the series should be full of chaos and excitement. However, I question if this is really Lady Loki and not another individual hiding their appearance. During their exchange, the Variant was hesitant to say that they were Loki. In fact, their answers were very evasive. And the fact that we got such a big reveal in the second episode of a six episode series, this is not the end of the surprises. While this could be Lady Loki, I would not be surprised if Marvel had another plan up their sleeves. Especially with the return of Kablooie Blue and the stained glass window of the devil in the premiere episode. I’m excited for the direction the show is going, but I’m hesitant to trust what we’ve been shown so far. 

Also, it seems like no one has met the Time-Keepers. Is there something up with that? While they are characters from the comics, this would not be the first time the MCU deviated from the comics and pulled fast one on the fans. Remember Ben Kinglsey as the Mandalorian in Iron Man 3? Are the Time-Keepers actually managing the Sacred Timeline, or is there another force controlling the flow of time currently?

So where did Loki and Lady Loki disappear to? What is her larger plan? And is Lady Loki actually Lady Loki? Check back in next week for my next recap of Loki to find out.

Follow Darren on Instagram at @darrenmoviereviews

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